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7th June 2000: Wigan 12 Bradford 12

Wigan Warriors v Bradford Bulls - Tetley's Super League V Round 13
Wednesday 7th June 2000. Kick Off 8:00pm at JJB Stadium

Bradford went back to the top of the table despite being forced to share the honours in a pulsating Super League clash of the titans.

A 70th-minute drop goal from Wigan captain Andy Farrell rescued a draw for his side and, despite dropping four points in their last four away games, the point is enough to enable the Bulls overtake St Helens on points difference.

After scoring two tries to one, Wigan probably deserved to take both points for a wholehearted performance in front of a bumper crowd of 17,365, a record for the JJB Stadium and the highest in Super League this season.

Former Wigan favourite Henry Paul was a thorn in the side of his old club by kicking four goals while Wigan-born scrum-half Paul Deacon, a player who lives just five minutes from the JJB Stadium, scored Bradford's solitary try.

The game was a personal triumph for Wigan and Great Britain captain Andy Farrell, who was sin-binned for the second successive match but came back to play a pivotal role in the Warriors' impressive second-half show.

The importance of the occasion was not lost on the players and the tension-filled encounter erupted into a free-for-all after 25 minutes.

Farrell, sin-binned during Wigan's defeat in their last match at Leeds, was ordered along with Bradford prop Stuart Fielden to cool off after appearing to head-butt hooker James Lowes in the middle of an ugly exchange involving most of the 26 players.

The game, a war of attrition for most of the first half, opened out into a free-flowing encounter after referee Russell Smith's decisive action but defences remained largely on top.

Paul, playing out of position at centre in an injury-hit Bradford back line, kicked a couple of early penalties to cancel out an eighth-minute try by Warriors hooker Terry Newton, who forced his way over from dummy half.

Chances were spurned at either end as both sides scrambled to great effect but Deacon broke the deadlock a minute before the break when he jinked his way through a fragmented Warriors defence from 20 metres out and Paul's third goal gave the visitors a six-point lead.

Wigan, fresh from a 12-day break, lost full-back Kris Radlinski to a leg injury midway through the first half but Jason Robinson, switched from the wing, was the home side's most dangerous attacker and he ought to have scored early in the second half.

Farrell produced a beautiful shimmy to open up the Bulls defence 40 metres out but Robinson lost the ball in Leon Pryce's tackle as he slid over the tryline.

Steady drizzle resulted in a series of handling errors and Wigan were quick to seize on a dropped pass on his own 10-metre line by Deacon. Willie Peters went on an arcing run and centre Gary Connolly took an inside ball and wrong-footed defender Mike Forshaw to cross for his side's second try.

Farrell, unfortunate to strike an upright with his first conversion attempt, kicked the goal this time to level the scores and Wigan went back in front on 56 minutes when Peters landed the second of two drop-goal attempts to make it 11-10.

Paul's fourth successful penalty - his only miss was an ambitious effort three metres from the halfway line - edged the Bulls back in front but Farrell restored parity with his vital one-pointer.

In a dramatic finish, Wigan almost snatched victory when Robinson broke free after a typical dazzling run but was brought down by Nathan McAvoy's ankle tap.

Bulls second rower David Boyle was sin-binned for laying on in the resultant tackle and Farrell and Peters were both wide with further drop-goal attempts.

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Bradford -
1 Kris Radlinski Full Back Michael Withers 5
2 Brett Dallas Winger Nathan McAvoy 4
4 Gary Connolly Centre Henry Paul 6
3 Steve Renouf Centre David Boyle 11
5 Jason Robinson Winger Leon Pryce 3
13 Andy Farrell Stand Off Robbie Paul 1
7 Willie Peters Scrum Half Paul Deacon 7
8 Terry O'Connor Prop Brian McDermott 22
9 Terry Newton Hooker James Lowes 9
10 Neil Cowie Prop Paul Anderson 10
11 Mick Cassidy 2nd Row Jamie Peacock 19
16 Simon Haughton 2nd Row Mike Forshaw 12
12 Denis Betts L.Forward Brad Mackay 13
14 Lee Gilmour Substitute Hudson Smith 15
17 Tony Mestrov Substitute Alex Wilkinson 16
19 Chris Chester Substitute Lee Radford 18
23 Brady Malam Substitute Stuart Fielden 29

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 12 --- Bradford Bulls 12
Terry Newton
Gary Connolly
--- Tries:
Paul Deacon
Andy Farrell 1
--- Goals:
Henry Paul 4
Willie Peters 1
Andy Farrell 1
--- ---

Other Information

Attendance: 17,365
Referee: Russell Smith

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